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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, November 28, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesLawmakers, Candidates and the Double Standard: Illegal Signs

Lawmakers, Candidates and the Double Standard: Illegal Signs

Dear Source:
It’s becoming ever more apparent that certain individuals and alarmingly, current lawmakers, feel they are above the laws and regulations of the US Virgin Islands. I draw your attention to the deliberate non-compliance by a few of our public-office candidates as related to their oversize and illegally placed campaign signs!
The guidance provided by the Board of Elections (in congruence with the Department of Public Works) clearly states signs will not exceed 4′ x 4′ and not be within 10′ of a public road. Additionally, they must not be within 25′ of an intersection. There are a few individuals whose campaign signs simply do not comply with these regulations! Michael Springer, Jay Watson, Eugene LaCorbineiere are among those. The most blatant offender is current lawmaker, Sen. Chucky Hansen, whose signs are double the allowable size and in many cases, do not comply with the road-safety setbacks.
Instead of taking responsibility, it would not surprise me in the least if a few of these offenders diverted the blame and responsibility to those in charge of their road signs. It would not surprise me if the elementary excuse "I didn’t know" were used. To the offenders I say, "Candidates, you are responsible!” Ignorance is not an excuse. Fix the problem.
Fundamentally, the obvious disdain for straightforward sign regulations reeks of the flawed character of a candidate. If a candidate, aspiring or sitting, cannot comply with something as simple as a few road sign rules, then what is to be expected when they’re faced with a more complex issue.
Is there a double standard?? You’d think so given the obvious violations of something so simple.
Does the term "moral turpitude" ring a bell? "Conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals." is how it’s been referred to since the 19th century.
When I contacted the Department of Public works, their very polite representative informed me they’ve had repetitive complaints regarding the above offenders; however, they have limited resources to ensure compliance.
They generally contact the offender and give them a short period to comply. Thereafter, all bets are off. In other jurisdictions, offenders are fined and billed for the Public Works costs of removal. It’s pretty simple.
Everyone is accountable and held to the same standard.
So, I propose and conclude with the following:
1) Non-complying signs (oversize and too-close to roadways) should be removed immediately. Being reasonable, I would offer candidates 24 hours to comply. For those who continue to snub their noses at simple compliance, Public Works should take the offenders’ signs down and bill the offenders for the costs of that effort.
2) To the voting public: Look at the simple requirement of proper signage as an example of the integrity and character of our candidates. There is no double standard. What is terribly disconcerting (and appears to be a trend throughout her term in office) is the current senator’s "over-the-top" disregard for the signage rules and deplorable civil conduct.
3) To the Board of Elections and Public Works (and the Commissioner): Despite your limited resources, hold the candidates accountable and remove non-compliant signage. The majority of the candidates are meeting the standard as you have dictated and it simply is not fair to those who do comply.
A common citizen who believes in integrity
Cedric Maycock

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